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date: 19 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter aims to describe the psychopathology of the phenomena of hysteria, dissociation, conversion, and somatization across psychiatric nosologies. The extent of this field of research includes a vast range of experiences and mechanisms, and several phenomenological, epistemological, and ethical qualms have made this field difficult to comprehensively synthesize every aspect of these phenomena. The reader finds here a review of major contributions from seminal inputs, historical waves of research which ultimately led to the current use of these words. It further considers clinical and theoretical pitfalls which damaged the use of these symbols and demoted research to other clinical areas of psychiatry. Also, and by addressing the contributions from phenomenological psychopathology, it provides further clarification of their possible use in clinical practice and research—a necessary first step.

Keywords: hysteria, dissociation, conversion, somatization, descriptive psychopathology

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